City constables know the criminal elements at Stabroek and Bourda Markets

first_imgDear Editor,It’s really disturbing to hear the Chief Constable only now pinpointing the Stabroek and Bourda Markets as ‘criminal hotspots’. Throughout the years, many news reports and letters were published, and many get into details and pinpointed the source of problems and identified locations at which elements hang out.One would not have to go far, just at any of the eastern gates of Stabroek Market, and one would see most of the nefarious activities being conducting there; viz, selling or buying of stolen jewellery, phones, drugs etc. Selling of drugs and usage are regular there, and those activities have extended beyond the gates.I have said before that the mere presence of these people there serve as a deterrent to potential shoppers in the market; so, for a Chief Constable, who is holding that position for quite a while now, to focus his concentration on the outskirts of the markets and cannot solve the problems effecting the market directly is just downright ludicrous.As mentioned in the news articles, indeed, the vendors are giving the constables a hell of a time; and, for years, they cannot control it, because many of the constables knows of the nefarious transactions that take place there. Sometime they themselves do transactions and collect drawbacks for these characters.I am quite sure that the Chief Constable is fully aware that corruption is quite rampant within the Constabulary, and even though many illegal vendors would sometimes get caught, you will hear they paying a ‘fine raise’ to certain individuals within the Constabulary and are back on the road conducting business again. Just take a walk to the market and speak to a vendor and you would hear exactly what I am saying.Editor, indeed there are gangs operating, and their modus operandi and their appearance make them easily identifiable at the car parks. Anyone could see and know they are criminals, and see them committing crimes boldly.They are well known to many operators of taxis and minibuses, but the operators are scared to render assistance because of the gangs, and there is no protection for them.There are many City Constables and Police ranks who know these criminals, but cannot do them anything. Indeed, crimes occur daily and quite a lot at weekends, and have been occurring for years now; and had the relevant authorities put a mechanism in place at the starting stage, it would not have escalated to the stage at which it is now.Indeed, I know it’s a hard task the lawmen have to deal with, and I am very optimistic that there will be significant changes, although I see no convincing plans. So, for now, I will still consider the Chief Constable’s plans very ambitious; but I know changes will not happen, because these problems have been there for years, and so has he.Respectfully,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more

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Ali calls for Guyoil to reduce fuel prices

first_img– says this would not have occurred had Amaila Hydro been in placeIn presenting several arguments as to why the Government should move swiftly to reduce the Excise Tax on petroleum products, thereby creating a reduction in the price for fuel at the pumps, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali said if this is not done, it could have severe repercussions.Opposition MP Irfaan AliAli believes that Guyanese continue to pay for what he described as the gross incompetence of the coalition Government. “If the price of fuel does not reduce, the spillover effect of a rise in inflation, and unemployment is imminent… None of this would have occurred, had the Amaila Hydro been in place.”According to the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government Minister, public enterprises, with the exception of the Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) have registered huge budget deficits since 2015 and seen massive reductions in deposits at commercial banks.Therefore, Ali contended that the needed reduction in the price of fuel could be accommodated by Guyoil. However, he said, a unilateral reduction without the ease of Excise Tax by the Government, to benefit private service stations, will be counterproductive since there will be an unlevelled playing field.“Thus, the Government first needs to ease Excise Tax on fuel importation, followed by a reduction in fuel price by Guyoil. Given the market share of Guyoil, other private service stations will follow,” he added.In making several key observations, the Opposition MP said at present, global oil price is the same compared to November 2008. However, price of local gas stations in November 2008 is less than present by 15.5 per cent at $194. Global oil price in January 2015 (under the previous Administration) and September 2017 was same. However, the 2015 price is less by 15.1 per cent at $173.At same level of global oil price, the price of fuel under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government was significantly less when compared to that of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government.Ali also noted that Guyoil benefited substantially, post 2015, from low market prices of oil. He therefore explained that if the projected $3 billion after-tax profit was achieved by end of 2017, total profit generated by Guyoil during the last three years would exceed 2008-2014 total level, by more than 10 per cent.“By not reducing local fuel price in relation to global oil price since 2015, Guyoil was able to increase its profit margin significantly. Given Guyoil’s high profit margin, the company could afford, presently, to reduce fuel price and ease growing economic burden,” he added.ImpactWhatever Government choses to do will have an impact on the economy and Guyanese at large. The MP said with a price increase, and the rising tide of oil prices, it will surely lift all prices of commodities. In other words, commodities could see, imminently, a violent increase in prices.“Reduced purchasing power, could mean consumers not only would see a reduction in purchasing power at the fuel pumps, but overall, as prices increase, disposable income will shrink, “he explained.Further, it could also impact low production levels, as rice farmers, loggers, small and medium-scale miners, could see a reduction in level of output, as fuel price increases higher production cost, adding downward pressure on profit margin, could see downsize in operation.But what was most worrying of all is the fact that this could impact the increased level of unemployment. As operation shrinks, the demand for employment will fall. Hence, higher unemployment level.AmailaMeanwhile, Ali did not fail to mention the Amaila Falls Hydro Project for which the coalition Government quashed for what the PPP has long argued was mainly because of “political vindictiveness.” However, the former Minister has long argued that Guyanese are being robbed of cheap and more reliable electricity.Ali said had the project been in place, it would most likely have resulted in the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) reducing its generation cost by approximately 50 per cent. It would have also allow Guyana to avoid importing approximately US$200 million in fuel per annum.Instead, Ali said that project would have brought price stability of local fuel, as the current global oil price volatility would have had less impact or effect on domestic fuel price. It would have led to increased production, which would have resulted in cheaper electricity would translate into lower production cost. “Hence, less cost would have increased competitiveness among local manufacturers and possibly lead to an increase in export. It would have reduced cost of imports, increasing foreign exchange due to savings would mean appreciation of domestic currency…reduced cost of import, increased purchasing power.”last_img read more

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Tevez’s Chinese club hit out at fixing claims

first_imgShenhua called on fans to “resist rumours” in a statement. “There is a lot before and after the game about Shenhua and the opponent fixing the result,” it added.“Was this the performance of a team and coach told to lose the game?“Recently a few people with ulterior motives fabricated a lot of rumours without basis in fact. They hoped to bring chaos to football and Shenhua,” continued the statement, issued on Sunday.“We solemnly tell Shenhua fans, please fully trust our management, coaching staff and all the players.“We have set up a special team of lawyers, using a variety of legal means, to investigate the people involved in these rumours.”Suning, who have splashed out on former England coach Capello and Brazilians Ramires and Alex Teixeira, looked set for a badly needed three points when they went ahead through first-half goals by Wu Xi and a Teixeira penalty.But Shenhua, for whom the oft-injured Argentine striker Tevez was again absent, struck back on 82 minutes with a Giovanni Moreno goal.The Colombian international then sent his under-pressure coach Gus Poyet wild when he headed in the leveller in the fourth minute of injury time for mid-table Shenhua.Suning climbed off the foot of the CSL table on goal difference, but Capello has now failed to win in four league games, drawing twice.“It should have been a game that we won and the result is a real pity,” the Italian veteran coach said.Reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande remain top of the table by a point despite a second successive CSL defeat, 2-0 at Beijing Guoan.Second-placed Shanghai SIPG, without the banned Oscar and Hulk, missed the opportunity to go top as they lost 4-2 at Changchun Yatai.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Shanghai Shenhua playing Jiangsu Suning in March: Carlos Tevez’s club is taking legal action over suggestions of match-fixing © AFP/File / STRSHANGHAI, China, Jul 10 – Carlos Tevez’s Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua say they are taking legal action over suggestions of match-fixing after they grabbed a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Fabio Capello’s Jiangsu Suning.The weekend stalemate means Capello’s wait for a first Chinese Super League (CSL) victory goes on and Shenhua said that online speculation about the result was tarnishing the club.last_img read more

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SIXTEEN DONEGAL ACTS CHOSEN FOR IRISH YOUTH MUSIC AWARD HEATS

first_imgDonegal Youth Service has announced the 16 finalists for the 2012 Irish Youth Music Awards Donegal Heat.This year saw over 30 young acts from across the county enter the competition, with decisions proving very tough for the assembled team of judges as to who will take to the stage at the final in VOODOO INK in Letterkenny this Saturday.The chosen acts will now compete to have the chance to represent the county at the Irish Youth Music Awards National Final in Liberty Hall in Dublin on April 28th. The 16 acts chosen are:Apollo 6 (Letterkenny)Bonnie Morrell (Letterkenny)Daniel Doak (Creeslough) Don’t Lean Back (Buncrana)Epic Solution (Falcarragh)Geraldine and Debbie (Moville)Jamaican Vampires (Letterkenny)Leila Keeney (New Mills) Loose Bananas (Dungloe)Marli Kerr (Churchill)Rosie Carney (Downings)Sabotage (Dungloe) Slaves of the System (Letterkenny)Sweet Boii AKA Martin Scanlan (Letterkenny)The Candela Ways (Ballybofey)The Capital (Letterkenny)The Irish Youth Music Awards, which is co-ordinated at local level by the Donegal Youth Service, is unique in that the regional final works off a principle where all the competing bands have one vote and they have to select who they think will represent the county best at national final.This is where the work really begins also however, as fellow bands are asked to work together to support the chosen act. If the Donegal act is successful in the national final all the local acts get to be part of a professionally recorded album in Dublin.This is the 5th year of the Irish Youth Music Awards, with Donegal claiming the Paul Clancy Songwriting award in 2011, having previously won the overall award in 2008.At the national final there is also the added bonus of all the bands learning a little bit more about the music industry and meeting representatives from the Irish music industry, and they are judged on all aspect of the Donegal team’s project, such as putting on preparation gigs, photography, styling and fundraising efforts to help bring the band and supporters to the national final.The Regional final takes gets underway this Saturday at 2pm, with admission €5 at the door. This is a non-alcohol event.The Irish Youth Music Awards are a Youth Work Ireland Initiative. For more information on the Irish Youth Music Awards Donegal Heat contact Letterkenny Youth Information Centre on 074-9129640.SIXTEEN DONEGAL ACTS CHOSEN FOR IRISH YOUTH MUSIC AWARD HEATS was last modified: February 28th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal HeatIrish Youth Music Awardslast_img read more

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GAA NEWS: CLOUGHANEELY WILL FACE ST. MICHAEL’S IN DONEGAL GAELTACHT

first_imgComórtas Peile na Gaeltachta***Rinneadh na socruithe do Chomórtas Peile na Gaeltachta an tseachtain seo chaite. Imreoidh an fhoireann tacaíochta in éadan na nDúnaibh sna Dunaibh sa réamhbhabhta ar an 14ú Feabhra. Imreoidh na buaiteoirí sa bhaile in éadan Naomh Mícheál sa chéad bhabtha ar an 21ú Feabhra. Tá na sinsir sa bhaile in éadan an Tearmainn ar an 21ú Feabhra. ***Club Officer Positions**Congratulations to the following people who were ratified into the following roles at last weeks monthly club meeting.Oifigeach Leanaí – Tom FeeneyOifigeach Oiliúna – Stephen Doohan Oifigeach Forbartha – James McCrossanWe would like to wish all our 2016 club officers well in their roles for the forthcoming year! A special thanks to all our out-going officers who dedicated so much time and effort to their roles.****Reminder: Club Membership******Club membership is now due.The club will be holding Registration nights down in the clubhouse kitchen on the following nights from 7:00 – 8:30 pm:Wednesday 10th FebruaryFriday 12th FebruaryFriday 19th FebruaryThe cost of adult club membership for 2016 is €30, underage membership is €10.Payments for entry into the 100 club is also now being accepted – the cost is €240 and can be paid in instalments or direct debit! Club membership is included for 100 club members. Prize money totals €1000 monthly: one €500 winner and 5 €100 winners each month.***Gym Information*** The Gym at our clubhouse is available for use to all members of the public once they have paid Gym membership.The gym is STRICTLY for the use of paid gym members only.Adult membership is priced at: €150 for 12 months, 6 month =€80, 3 month =€55Excellent membership rates are also available for minors and college students. Please contact Declan McGarvey tel: 086-100 9467 for further information on the Gym and on membership rates.Gym opening times are as follows:Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 5:30 pm – 10:00 pmSaturday: 9:00 pm – 12:00 noon.PLEASE NOTE ON MON/WED/FRI FROM 5:30-7:00 IS STRICTLY FOR LADIES ONLYPlease also take a look at DMG Fitness facebook page for various classes being run at the club house! ***Sympathies***The club would like to extend sympathies to the Kelly family on the passing of Kathleen-Anne. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam.GAA NEWS: CLOUGHANEELY WILL FACE ST. MICHAEL’S IN DONEGAL GAELTACHT was last modified: February 9th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CloughaneelyGAASportlast_img read more

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DONEGAL WOMAN HONOURED FOR HER LIFETIME SERVICE TO AN TAISCE

first_imgOne of Donegal and Ireland’s best-known environmentalists has been awarded for her years of service.May McClintock, from Letterkenny, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by An Taisce.Ms McClintock, who lives in Glenswilly, has written books and is also a noted historian and active members of the IFA. She was presented with her award by Ian Lumley, National Heritage and Planning Officer of An Taisce in recognition of her 42 years service with the organisation. DONEGAL WOMAN HONOURED FOR HER LIFETIME SERVICE TO AN TAISCE was last modified: July 1st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:An TaisceMay McClintocklast_img read more

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Molecular Phylogeny Is a Mess of Uncertainty

first_imgGenomes galore – a great opportunity to study evolution, right?  Think again.  A paper in Science by Wong et al1 revealed systematic uncertainty in the way genomes are compared, leading to bias that makes genetic comparisons essentially useless.  Antonis Rokas, in the same issue,2 began his commentary on this problem thus:Darwin relied on fossils, morphology, and geographical distribution to glean important clues about the history of life.  Today, natural historians can study organisms’ history of change and adaptation by probing the DNA record.  Whether to elucidate evolutionary relationships of genes and species or spot the amino acid changes driven by selection, we need to be able to generate accurate alignments of DNA sequences.  On page 473 of this issue, Wong et al.1 provide some important caveats on how this can go awry and how to avoid alignment bias.Rokas continued with a folksy explanation of the basic problem:For years, the standard protocol has been to pick a favorite algorithm to optimize the alignment it generates.  This approach is fast and easy, but it is like being forced to always settle on vanilla ice cream for dessert; doing so can taint one’s opinion about ice cream.  Similarly, sticking to the use of a single alignment from a single algorithm can bias the estimation of phylogenies or of other evolutionary parameters pivotal to our understanding of the DNA record.  Until now, the extent and potential significance of this bias introduced by alignment was unknown.  Wong and colleagues quantify the contribution of alignment uncertainty to genome-wide evolutionary analyses and report that we sweep this uncertainty under the proverbial rug at our peril.Wong and team used seven popular programs to compare seven genomes.  “The term ‘popular’ is not used lightly here,” Rokas notes; “these programs have been employed, judging by citation counts, in at least 25,000 analyses.”  The potential for revision, therefore is enormous.  What did the researchers find? They report that a staggering 46.2% of the genes examined exhibit variation in the phylogeny produced dependent on the choice of alignment method, whereas the prediction of the amino acid changes driven by selection was likewise method dependent for another 28.4% of the genes.The significance of this “whoops” admission cannot be overstated.  For years, evolutionary biologists have depended on the “popular” algorithms to generate phylogenetic trees, expecting their results to be reliable.  Rokas explains that high “bootstrap” values for some trees (a popular index that is supposed to measure robustness in inference) can be misleading, because “bootstrap values do not always equate with phylogenetic accuracy.”  But if the bootstrap value is strong, what is in error – the signal or the phylogenetic inference?  Rokas did not explore the latter possibility.    Wong et al explain how researchers can fall into the trap by trusting algorithms that cannot bear the weight of inference placed on them:A common theme in comparative genomics studies is a flow diagram, or chart, tracing the various steps and algorithms used during the analysis of a large number of genes.  Flow charts can be quite sophisticated, with steps such as identifying orthologous gene sets, aligning the genes, and performing different statistical analyses on the resulting alignments.  The key point, and a great practical difficulty in comparative genomics studies, is that the analyses must be repeated many times.  The procedure, then, is largely automated, with scripting languages such as Perl or Python cobbling together individual programs that perform each step.  In addition, many of the individual steps involve procedures originally developed in the evolutionary biology literature, to perform phylogeny estimation or to identify individual amino acid residues under the influence of positive selection.  Statistical methods that until recently would have been applied to a single alignment, carefully constructed, are now applied to a large number of alignments, many of which may be of uncertain quality and cause the underlying assumptions of the methods to fail.This seems to indicate another problem: the very algorithms trusted were written on the assumption of evolution.  Is there a circularity here?  Will the algorithm select the data that will produce the expected evolutionary result?  They did not elaborate.    The authors state that the uncertainty is not just a matter of sloppy analysis.  A biologist may run the program with great care and precision.  It’s trusting the algorithms themselves, and being unaware of the uncertainties, that leads to huge errors and false conclusions.  They explain how this can happen:Many comparative genomics studies are carefully performed and reasonable in design.  However, even carefully designed and carried out analyses can suffer from these types of problems because the methods used in the analysis of the genomic data do not properly accommodate alignment uncertainty in the first place.  Moreover, the genes that are of greatest interest to the evolutionary biologist probably suffer disproportionately.  For example, in several studies, the genes of greatest interest were the ones that had diverged most in their nonsynonymous rate of substitution.  But, these are the very genes that should be the most difficult to align in the first place.  We also do not believe that the alignment uncertainty problem is one that can be resolved by simply throwing away genes, or portions of genes, for which alignment differs.In fact, throwing out portions that have ambiguous alignments can lead to other problems, such as removing a large portion of the primary data.  It also does not guarantee the remainder will line up well.    Rokas has a good-news-bad-news story.  On the hopeful side, “several novel statistical methods that simultaneously estimate alignment and evolutionary parameters of interest such as phylogeny have shown exceptional promise,” he said.  The bad news is there’s a catch: “The computational demands of these programs are prohibitive.”    Wong et al suggested some ways to mitigate alignment bias.  No matter the quality control used, though, carefulness is not going to solve all the problems.  “The goal is to analyze all of the genes in the genome,” they said.  “As we have shown here, many of these genes will be difficult to align and result in highly variable evolutionary parameter estimates.”  They did not seem to explore the possibility of circular reasoning in the algorithms.    Wow.  This is going to be a shattering revelation to many a biologist.  Rokas put the best possible spin on a bad situation:As in any scientific field, molecular evolution has a long tradition of dramatic transformation.  The development of a powerful computational and statistical arsenal to account for the uncertainty stemming from sequence alignments is heralding the first paradigm shift in the era of genome-scale analysis.Now, the question is what to do about the 25,000 erroneous papers, and how long it will take to overcome the inertia of thousands of scientists continuing to use the popular algorithms oblivious to their inherent uncertainties.1.  Wong, Suchard and Huelsenbeck, “Alignment Uncertainty and Genomic Analysis,” Science, 25 January 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5862, pp. 473-476, DOI: 10.1126/science.1151532.2.  Antonis Rokas, “Lining Up to Avoid Bias,” Science, 25 January 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5862, pp. 416-417, DOI: 10.1126/science.1153156..This shouldn’t be news.  A team of scientists reported six years ago that building phylogenetic trees with any realistic measure of reliability was mathematically impossible (07/25/2002).  Evolutionary biologists have to make assumptions and take shortcuts to get results.  Because the algorithms are built on evolutionary assumptions (e.g., what constitutes positive selection, or what constitutes maximum likelihood or a parsimonious solution), the whole exercise is circular.  Don’t think for a minute that a computer program built by evolutionists for evolutionists is going to generate bias-free, objective, neutral “facts of science.”  They is a-huntin’ for Darwin’s trees, and Darwin’s trees is what they gonna get.    This paper is not likely to make much of a dent.  Life will go on, because “tree-thinking” is inscribed with an iron stylus on the evolutionary biologist’s brain (11/14/2005).  It influences everything he thinks and does.  Besides, the importance of bashing down the creationists with mountains and mountains of scientific evidence for evolution is too important for a little bit of error, say 75% or more, to hinder the mission.  With Darwin Day coming, the show must go on!(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Thousands bid farewell to MaSisulu

first_img13 June 2011Thousands of people braved the cold weather on Saturday to bid farewell to African National Congress (ANC) struggle icon Albertina Sisulu, who died in Johannesburg last week.She was laid to rest in a beautifully decorated family grave next to her husband, ANC leader Walter Sisulu, at Croesus cemetery in Johannesburg.The funeral service at Orlando Stadium in Soweto was a celebration of the life of a woman whom many have called “the mother of the nation.”It drew mourners from all sectors of society, including foreign dignitaries, among them former presidents and heads of government. School children sang, poets praised and comrades danced and chanted freedom songs as they all extended their goodbyes to the 92-year-old stalwart.Zambia was represented by former president Kenneth Kaunda, while Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy, Arthur Mutambara, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Theo Ben Gurirab, speaker of the National Assembly in Namibia, were also there to pay their tributes.MaSisulu died while watching TV at her home in Linden, and since the news of her passing broke out, tributes have been pouring in from people from all walks of life.President Jacob Zuma accorded her an official funeral, with her coffin wrapped in the South African flag, while the military paid its respects.Delivering a sermon at the funeral, Zuma said MaSisulu would be remembered for her outstanding leadership and unifying spirit.‘An era has ended’“One of the greatest icons of our struggle has fallen, an era has ended and the nation is devastated, but we are proud to be associated with Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu,” Zuma said.“We are paying tribute today not just to the wife of our leader, Isithwalandwe Walter Sisulu, she was a leader in her own right.”When the ANC spoke of the organisation’s selfless struggle, Mama Sisulu’s name stood out as a shining example. Many senior ANC leaders in government, politics and business matured under her guidance, care and love, said Zuma.“She was their mother and their pillar of strength. Her neighbours here in Soweto have testified that she was their mother too, always available to assist, always ready to provide wise counsel and love.”The President said very few people can be said to have served their country and people with dedication, commitment, sacrifice, loyalty, respect, selflessness and patriotism like Mama Sisulu has done, adding that few can hope to attract such an outpouring of love nationwide.“She taught us so much about leadership and ubuntu [humanity]. She upheld many values that we must internalise in our own lives and behaviour.“From her we learned that you can be a leader and still respect others in actions and deeds, regardless of their station in life or status. When we say working together we can do more, we are endorsing lessons from leaders such as Mama Sisulu.”Max Sisulu, her eldest son and Speaker of the National Assembly, said at home, MaSisulu had a way of making all her children feel special.‘She was a political mentor’“She was a mother, a political mentor to many activists. During her life time, Mama touched and shaped many lives beyond the ANC. Her professionalism as a nurse had earned her respect among the health profession, she was passionate about education,” he said.The family had been overwhelmed by the support it received in the time of bereavement.“Even as we mourn, we also celebrate and commemorate a life well lived,” he added.Tributes also came from her grandchildren, with grandson Linda Sisulu describing his grand mother as someone who loved to tend her garden and use a hosepipe to water her flowers and lawn at the family home.“She loved to tell the tales of old days … she gave us lesson for our own lives and taught us love for education,” Linda said.Former President Nelson Mandela scripted a very personal message, describing MaSisulu as his pillar of strength during the difficult time of apartheid.“It is difficult and saddening to see you go my sister, you are more than a comrade, you are part of my being. Instead of me comforting your children, they had to comfort me … over the last couple of days, much has been said about your life and work.“You are indeed one of the greatest South Africans, you rightly earned to be the mother of all our people,” Mandela said in a message read to the thousands of mourners by his wife Graca Machel.Mandela and SisuluMandela and Walter Sisulu became close friends when they met in Johannesburg and were the first leaders who turned the moderate African National Congress into a militant organisation. They were later both imprisoned in Robben Island.Through her union with Walter, MaSisulu became politically active herself, attending with him the founding discussions of the Youth League. In July 1944, they were married and settled in the cinder block house at Orlando Township, Soweto, which would be their home for 45 years.MaSisulu also played a leading role in the historic Women’s March on the Union Buildings in 1956, joining 20 000 women in protest against the oppressive pass laws.During the period 1979 to 1981, she recruited a group of young women and directed them to revive the Federation of South African Women.In 1994 she was elected to the first democratic Parliament, which she served until retiring four years later. She was a deputy president of the ANC Women’s League, nurse and midwife, and took part in the formation of the United Democratic Front, the 1956 anti-pass march to the Union Buildings and the launch of the Freedom Charter.Several memorial services took place during the week, with the official memorial being held at the Tshwane City Hall on Thursday.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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South Africa: talk directly to local government

first_imgMillions of South Africans are online, which the country is exploiting to bring local government closer to the people. Residents can communicate directly with officials through a new digital platform, which allows them to send instant messages to ward councillors.GovChat is an online platform that allows South Africans to communicate directly with ward councillors. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Brand South Africa reporterInternet technology has vastly improved communication. And now there is a platform that gives South Africans a direct line to their respective ward councillors. What’s more, residents are also able to send images, photos, videos, public and private messages in real time.Interact directly with your Ward Councillor about your community’s challenges. Visit https://t.co/4Pett3VrRC and register now #GovChat pic.twitter.com/8C2Nf4wnbl— GovChat (@govchatsa) October 15, 2016The platform is an initiative of the South African Local Government Association (Salga).Follow these five easy steps to access it:Visit www.govchat.org.za and choose the registration button.Fill in your account details and choose a password you’ll remember easily.Set up your profile and share your location.Set up your membership.Agree to the terms and conditions and click on ‘complete sign up’.Once you receive the activation email and follow the directions, you are able to join the conversation. See this:AdvantagesDid you know? You can now create your own community group on the GovChat website. Register to get in touch with your community. pic.twitter.com/iDUmKWyGNj— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) October 13, 2016“We are pleased that Salga has integrated GovChat as a valuable communications tool that will connect citizens to their local ward councillors,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) director-general Donald Liphoko.GovChat aims to break barriers of communication and support civic engagement.“It will go a long way in bridging the divide between the electorate and public representatives.“The service will improve for the better as councillors will be at the frontline of providing instant and credible information to the people they serve,” the government said.GovChat, said Liphoko, gave people the opportunity to speak to councillors on many topics, including housing, access to water and electricity, safety and job creation initiatives in their areas.The country’s National Development Plan calls for a “responsive, accountable, effective, local government system”, and GovChat is a step towards attaining that goal.According to the GCIS, South Africans are becoming increasingly connected. There are more than 26 million active internet users, 13 million of whom are active social media users.The plan for the near future is to make GovChat available on Android and iOS devices.Click here to go to the GovChat site.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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